Participants at the opening ceremony of the training course (Source: VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – Vietnamese disaster managers joined their counterparts from Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines at a training course on strengthening the capacity of disaster adaptation and relief, which opened in Jakarta on April 1.

Jointly hosted by the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA), the course is one of many measures devised by ASEAN to enhance regional capacity in natural disaster response and humanitarian relief. The programme is funded by Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the US, and regional and international organisations.

In his opening speech, Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN Kazuo Sunaga said his country wants to share its experience with ASEAN member states in responding to natural disasters.

Support provided by the Japanese Government to the course aims to help Southeast Asian countries be better prepared to deal with natural disasters, he said, expressing his hope that Japan and ASEAN will continue to perform the programme in the future.

The third event of its kind, the six-month course focuses on assessing the capacity to coordinate in disaster adaptation within ASEAN, and also ways to promote individual leadership in the field. Trainees will also take part in fact-finding tours to zones hardest hit by natural disasters in Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand and Malaysia to learn from these countries’ experience.

Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Representative D elegation to ASEAN, highlighted the significance of the programme, saying that it contributes to promoting cooperation among ASEAN member nations in combating natural disasters.

He said disaster prevention and humanitarian relief is one of the leading priorities of ASEAN and the Vietnamese Government, noting that Vietnam has worked closely with other ASEAN member nations on the issue.

Established in 2011, AHA works to foster connections in disaster management and emergency response within ASEAN and between the group and the United Nations and other international organisations.-VNA